The theme park experience : its nature, antecedents and consequences

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The theme park experience : its nature, antecedents and consequences


Author: Lo, Shuk-ting Doris
Title: The theme park experience : its nature, antecedents and consequences
Degree: M.Phil.
Year: 2008
Subject: Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations.
Amusement parks.
Consumer satisfaction.
Department: School of Hotel and Tourism Management
Pages: x, 210 p. : ill. ; 30 cm.
Language: English
InnoPac Record:
Abstract: Customer experience has become a new measure of success in the theme park industry. With the increase in discretionary income and travelling opportunities, residents and tourists have become more demanding in their expectations of theme park performance. They want theme parks at which they can have a good time with friends and relatives and which evoke positive emotional feelings. However, the intricacies of visitor experience have been addressed in few theme park studies. Using quality of experience and affect to measure theme park experience, this study attempts to explore the psychological nature of the theme park experience, and to examine its antecedents and consequences. A structural equation model was used to test visitor experience of the Hong Kong Disneyland. The model included three exogenous variables - audience, actors and service setting - that are three components of the Services Theatre model, and four endogenous variables - quality of experience, affect, overall satisfaction and behavioural intention. Interviews with 475 Hong Kong visitors were carried out at the exit gate of Hong Kong Disneyland. Two scales were developed for measuring theme park performance and experience. Three experience dimensions, "enjoyment and fun", "learning, fulfilment and novelty" and "relaxation and relationship", were used to measure the quality of visitor experience at the theme park. All the scales were pre-tested and refined using exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis. The findings revealed that the proposed model fit the observed data well, with acceptable model fit indices. Theme park experience was confirmed to be a significant mediator between theme park performance and overall satisfaction. Park setting was found to be the theme park component that most affected the quality of visitor experience and emotional feelings (i.e., theme park experience). In addition, the behaviour of other visitors also had a considerable effect on the emotional feelings of in-park visitors. Given that the theme park experience of visitors plays a significant role in affecting their satisfaction and their intention to return, theme park operators need not only to put efforts into improving theme park services, but also to understand and carefully manage the theme park experience.

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